From the classic Hunter rubbers worn by the likes of Kate Moss at Glastonbury, an outdoor British music festival, to the rubber yellow wellies that we wore in our youth, rainboots never go out of style. They take you from season to season – from fall into winter and spring into summer – and they’re a throwback to the carefree days when we spent hours splashing in puddles. But rubber boots are certainly not childish.
Heck, even Michelle Obama, today’s most in-the-news trendsetter, has been spied wearing high-design wellies by Jimmy Choo when working on the White House garden.
And we’ve seen many a stylish young woman and fashion editor wearing these puppies with chic jeans, skirts or dresses, all paired with tights or high-knee socks.
(Honestly, who looks that good covered in mud wearing hot pants?)
In the last month or so, we’ve come across a slew of new rainboot companies so we thought we’d share some of the great rain-inspired innovations. From high to low, here’s the range:
Bogs : While the name may sound a bit gloomy, these boots, made of neoprene wetsuit material are anything but glum. This all-season boot company is new to Canada (some spring styles are in stores now but more selections won’t be in stores here until August) but has been based in Oregon for 40 years. The boots are 100 percent waterproof and will keep you warm in temperatures up to -20 degrees so they really are all- season.
Some of the Bogs styles really class up the humble rubbers with tumbled-leather detailing. There’s even a riding-boot version that’s irresistible (Kate’s favourite). All the boots have non-marking, breathable soles so you won’t overheat. $90–$195.
MoovBoots : A cross between the Ugg boot and Wellies, these boots are lined with 100 percent Australian Merino sheepskin. Their online Bootique (man, we can’t resist a good pun) showcases these boots in chic colours and patterns that make them extremely wearable. But be warned, they aren’t cheap ($150-$175/pair), and you may have to pay for shipping and handling from Australia. But if you see them as an investment (when do rainboots ever fall apart?) and if you like the style then they may be worth it.
Ilse Jacobsen : This Danish brand has fantastic rainboots, that come with stylish lacing and fantastic colour choices: black, blue, green, tan, camel, lime, bright pink, purple, red, white, turquoise. (Deb’s favourite wellies are these ones in purple.) But you pay for the uber-cool styling: $149–$219. Check out www.ilsejacobsen.dk and you’ll find a list of where to buy the boots across Canada.
Cougar : For more down-to-earth budgets, there’s the Cougar rainboot. We’ve spied various worthy styles, in stores now, that have a sweater-like ribbed cuff so you don’t get any chaffing on your calves. (Remember that from your puddle-jumping days?) We’ve spied them in various colours including black and olive green at independent shoe boutiques and they’re also available at Sears. And pretty consistently priced at $70.
Mark’s : Check out Mark’s (formerly Mark’s Work Warehouse), and you’ll find classic wellies in solid yellow and fuchsia as well as patterned blue plaid and black and white. $40–$45.
Joe Fresh Style : Stylish bargain hunters can find slick-looking wellies at Joe Fresh, too. They’ve got great navy ones for $24.
— Kate Daley and Deborah Fulsang